Welcome to the International Schools Group. It is a journey we will be undertaking together, since this marks my first year as Superintendent of ISG. Although new to this particular role, it is my 37th year in education, having spent the last six years as Superintendent for Lakewood School District in the state of Washington. I feel fortunate to be building on the strong foundation that ISG has already established and am excited to get to know each of you as the year progresses.
That strong foundation began in 1962 when ISG was originally founded. Since then, ISG has earned a reputation for providing the highest quality U.S., U.K. and international education in the Eastern Province, with an emphasis on progressive teaching and learning. Our six schools each have their own distinct personality, but common to all is a warm, caring and diverse community that together represents over 70 nationalities.
I am a firm believer in ISG’s core values of ‘Respect, Responsibility, Acceptance and Integrity.’ These values provide a solid foundation for learning and help prepare our students for life. Teachers and students gain confidence from the security our values bring. Confidence, in turn, assists in taking control of one’s own learning. Developing increased learner agency is one of ISG’s key objectives. We know that the most successful students feel they can control their futures – that they possess learner agency. These children tend to work harder, focus better, engage more and are less likely to give up when faced with challenges.
At ISG, students come first. As a result, we are deeply committed to professional development for our teachers. Why? Because we know that the best way to teach is to be a learner too. ISG is fortunate to attract some of the best teachers from around the world. And to keep them. The average length of stay at ISG is five to seven years, whereas 48% of international teachers do not stay at the same school beyond two years. Our teachers’ dedication and love of teaching contribute to the vibrant learning environment our students enjoy every day. They work collaboratively, locally and globally, in order to share best practices and resources. We organize regular district-wide professional learning events to ensure that our teachers’ practices deepen and that students’ learning is sustained, embedded and continuous.
We are also fortunate to benefit from an engaged parent body that works with us to enrich school life at each ISG school. We would not be where we are today without our parents’ participation and tireless support. For this, we are very grateful.
As a not-for-profit organization, ISG is overseen by a Board of Trustees. These dedicated stakeholders hold honorary positions on the Board and work closely with me to secure the long-term direction of the school. A major focus in the next two years will be the building of the new campus. Named “Inspiring the Future,” this building campaign will see the construction of purpose-built, state-of-the-art schools and facilities, and is already generating much excitement and anticipation.
Our six ISG schools provide a first-class, coeducational education to our family of international stakeholders. We are privileged to be hosted here in KSA and are thankful to our colleagues within the supportive Saudi network who work closely with us to help make our schools run as smoothly as possible.
If you are considering ISG for your child or children, we invite you to come and visit us, or contact us. If you are new, I extend a warm welcome to you. If you are established friends of ISG, thank you for your invaluable support as we work together to provide the brightest of futures for the students of ISG.
Dr. Michael Mack